MLB Week in Review (July 1-7)

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The worst time on the sports calendar is about to hit as the MLB all-star break is coming meaning there are no sports on for the better part of a week.

With baseball as the only major sport playing right now, the all-star break represents a time when no major sports are running.

What the all-star break also represents is the halfway point of the marathon that is the MLB season.

Most teams are reaching the halfway point right now as they have played their 81st game of the season.

The MLB season is a long one with more games than any of the other major leagues and a season lasts five months, as long as you don’t make the postseason.

As a result, the start of the season can sometimes mean little to how things end at the beginning of October.

The MLB history book is full of teams that started off looking like they could never make the postseason only to win the World Series in the end.

Panic or excitement at the start of the season is never a great thing as teams need to figure themselves out at the start of the season before they get into the heart of the season.

By this time in the season, things can still change but the entire league has a better feeling for what is happening at the halfway point.

There are the teams that have asserted themselves already as real playoff contenders with only a few more good weeks needed to solidify their spot.

Teams like the Chicago Cubs have run away in the first half and they look like the team to beat.

The San Francisco Giants are not too far behind the Cubs as a big battle in the National League is brewing for the second half.

The American League is a little more unpredictable with teams looking like they might be the AL version of the Cubs but faltering at some point.

It may just create an even greater battle in the second half as there are plenty of teams with a shot.

Not every team has been great though as there have been some very disappointing first halves including the first half of the defending champion season.

The Kansas City Royals ran through the league last year on their way to the World Series but this year hot streaks from Chicago and Cleveland have shut them down along with poor starting pitching.baseball-sidebar

The Toronto Blue Jays started out rough as well after a great season the year before while promise in Arizona has fallen short.

The second half is still to come though and any of these teams can make a second half run, the Jays did just that after some key trades.

The MLB season is a long one and it is not easy for any team to stay great throughout the entire season.

That is the toughest part of the MLB season though as great teams are the ones that can stay in the hunt the entire season.

With the first half over every team now knows where they stand as they look ahead to the postseason race.

There will be teams that will simply need to avoid that late season collapse in order to get their chance in the postseason.

Other teams need to pick things up before they fall too far behind the postseason fight.

The best battles to watch, though, are the fights for those last few spots as a number of teams are sitting right on the edge.

If they can have a good second half they may be able to find their way to the postseason.

Of course, they will also be watching the teams around them as well as the battle for the postseason is set to be interesting this year.

It is only halfway though and there is a lot of baseball to play as the All-Star Break is here and the entire league looks ahead to the second half of the season where many hope to make their run to the postseason.

Extra Innings
(More on this week in baseball)

All-Star Rosters Announced
The All-Star Game is right around the corner and this week the MLB announced who will be participating with Boston dominating the AL roster and the Cubs dominating the NL roster including an entire infield supplied by Chicago

Blue Jays, Bad Guys
The Blue Jays are a team backed by a whole country but they have gained a reputation outside of that country and this week didn’t help that reputation as Edwin Encarnacion was suspended a game for bumping an umpire while arguing balls and strikes

Another Chapter for the MLB
The MLB is taking a page out of the books of many other major leagues as they are looking to new experiences to help grow the lead and this week they did just that holding a game at Fort Bragg making it the first game on a military base with only military personnel in attendance

standings-w14.fw

Key Series:
Cleveland Indians 2-2 Toronto Blue Jays
– The Indians came into the series as the hottest team in baseball and they extended their winning streak taking the first two games but the Blue Jays were able to end the hot streak and even the series

Miami Marlins 2-1 Atlanta Braves
– The two division rivals may not have been fighting for the same thing in this series but they both made history in the final game, one of the two Miami wins, when they played the first game on an active military base at Fort Bragg

Baltimore Orioles 2-1 Los Angeles Dodgers
– The Orioles and the Dodgers are in a tough fight in their divisions and they both were looking to get some momentum heading into the all-star break but it was the O’s who took that momentum moving into first place in the east thanks to their two wins

Houston Astros 3-0 Seattle Mariners
– Both teams have had first halves that have given hope and taken it away as they have been up and down but it was time for the Astros to take it to another level as they swept the Mariners continuing their mid-season comeback

Upcoming Series:
MLB Home Run Derby (Monday, July 11th; 8:00 pm ET)
– With stars like Giancarlo Stanton, Mark Trumbo and last year’s champion Todd Frazier the home run derby should be a show as the single elimination tournament will crown the best home run hitter in the game

National League vs. American League (Tuesday, July 12th; 8:00 pm ET)
– The 87th Midsummer Classic once again has some motivation as home-field advantage in the World Series rides on this game that features the best players in the game all hoping to take advantage of the reward

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